By: Terrence Berg
YELLOWTAIL IN BAJA: The 1.5-day trips running south out of San Diego along the northern Baja coast continue to see exceptional yellowtail and rockfish action. Some examples from the weekend:
– Aztec out of Seaforth Sportfishing was on a 1.5-day trip with 28 anglers and had full limits of 140 yellowtail and 140 rockfish.
– Chief out of H&M Landing was out with 35 anglers and landed 70 yellowtail and 175 rockfish.
– Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing also had a weekend trip with 29 anglers and landed 79 yellowtail, 178 rockfish, and 17 lingcod.
– Vagabond out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 28 anglers on its weekend trip down the coast and landed 86 yellowtail and 140 rockfish.
This bite has been a lock for months now.
BLUEFIN TUNA STILL ON TANNER AND CORTEZ: While conditions were much tougher for the 1.5-day boats running to the Cortez and Tanner banks out to the west, the bluefin tuna, yellowtail and big bonito remain here in very good numbers. Tribute out of Seaforth Sportfishing was out over the weekend with 33 anglers. They battled the elements to landed four bluefin and 29 bonito. Fury out of Dana Wharf also went out to the west with 26 anglers and landed five bluefin and 28 bonito. Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker had 15 anglers on its weekend 1.5-day trip and landed 16 bluefin and 55 bonito, while Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing was on a 1.5-day trip with 17 anglers and landed six bluefin, two yellowtail and 25 bonito.
LOCAL YELLOWTAIL: The yellowtail bite all along the Southern California coast remains exceptional for the season. Sportboats in the San Diego region have been the most consistent, but yellowtail are showing up in Channel Islands, Catalina and San Clemente, especially for private boaters. San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing was on a three-quarter day trip Wednesday and the 35 anglers on board had 55 yellowtail, 20 rockfish and seven bonito. The same boat on Saturday with 36 anglers had 125 yellowtail. Malihini out of H&M Landing was out on Tuesday with 10 anglers and had 10 yellowtail, seven bonito, two sheephead, two lingcod and one rockfish. Point Loma out of Point Loma Sportfishing was on a three-quarter day trip Sunday with 22 anglers and landed 61 yellowtail, five sand bass, a halibut, a bonito and one sculpin. On a Tuesday trip this week, there were 11 anglers on this boat and landed 17 yellowtail. Farther up the coast, New Del Mar out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing was on a half-day Tuesday with just 12 anglers and had 11 yellowtail. To give you a flavor of what private boaters are doing, Bongos II out of Davey’s Locker was on a three-quarter day trip Saturday with three anglers and landed 17 yellowtail and seven bonito.
SURF PERCH UPDATE: The incredible surf perch season also continues with excellent action on barred surf perch along the central coast from San Simeon to Ventura, with two- to three-pound fish reported. The bite is good on blood or lug worms or the Berkley Gulp! sand worms.
LOCAL BASS UPDATE: The calico bass bites are starting to improve all along the coast. With rockfish season not reopening until March 1, a lot of boats are making bass runs and finding a decent pick on these fish. New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing in San Diego has been focusing its half-day trips on bass. On Wednesday, the morning run had 11 anglers landing 31 keeper calicos, six bonito and one yellowtail. The afternoon run was jammed with 33 anglers catching 34 bass and a bonito. On Tuesday, the 21 anglers on board had 51 calicos, one sand bass and two bonito, along with releasing 60 underside calicos. On Monday, the five anglers on board had 25 keeper calicos, two bonito and released 75 underside calicos. Up the coast, Sum Fun was out of Dana Wharf Sportfishing on Tuesday’s three-quarter day trip with 30 anglers who landed 67 mackerel, four keeper calicos and four sculpin, but they released 40 underside calicos. On Monday, this same boat had 12 anglers and landed three yellowtail, 15 sand dabs, five sculpin, one keeper calico and 40 bass released.
LOBSTER UPDATE: The lobster action has been fair with most near-shore trips garnering only about a half-bug per angler. Private boaters are getting from one to three bugs.
INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: The staff of 976-TUNA is hosting instructional charters throughout the season, offering advice to beginning or veteran anglers and on-the-water teaching of techniques for different saltwater species. The first of the year will be May 6, a limited load overnight trip on the Ultra out of 22nd Street Landing. The trip is limited to 10 anglers and the price is $300 per person. The charters are done until early spring. Check 976-TUNA.com or call (562) 352-0012 for details.
Southern California: Virg’s Sportfishing, Morro Bay, (805) 772-1222; Patriot Sportfishing, Avila Beach, (805) 595-7200; Sea Landing, Santa Barbara, (805) 963-3564; Harbor Village Sportfishing, Ventura, (805) 658-1060; Channel Islands Sportfishing Center, Oxnard, (805) 985-8511; Hook’s Landing, Oxnard, (805) 382-6233; Port Hueneme Sportfishing has merged with Channel Islands Sportfishing; Malibu Pier Sportfishing, (310) 328-8426; Marina del Rey Sportfishing, Marina del Rey, (310) 822-3625; Redondo Sportfishing, Redondo Beach, (310) 372-2111; Rocky Point Fuel Dock (skiff rentals for King Harbor), Redondo Beach, (310) 374-9858; 22nd Street Landing, San Pedro, (310) 832-8304; L.A. Harbor Sportfishing, San Pedro, (310) 547-9916; Long Beach Sportfishing, Long Beach, (562) 432-8993; Pierpoint Landing, Long Beach, (562) 983-9300; Marina Sportfishing, Long Beach, (562) 598-6649; Newport Landing, Newport Beach, (949) 675-0550; Davey’s Locker, Newport Beach, (949) 673-1434; Dana Wharf Sportfishing, Dana Point, (949) 496-5794; Helgren’s Sportfishing, Oceanside, (760) 722-2133; Fisherman’s Landing, San Diego, (619) 221-8500; H&M Landing, San Diego, (619) 222-1144; Seaforth Landing, San Diego, (619) 224-3383; Point Loma Sportfishing, San Diego, (619) 223-1627; Islandia Sportfishing, San Diego, (619) 222-1164.
Mexico Landings: Sergio’s Sportfishing, Ensenada, 011-526-178-2185; San Quintin Sportfishing, San Quintin, 011-526-162-1455.